City reaffirms support for Tohono O'odham Nation urban casino

Leaders of the Tohono O'odham Nation signed the last steel beam that's part of the initial structure for the West Valley Resort near Glendale, Arizona. Photo from Facebook

The city of Glendale, Arizona, is standing by the Tohono O'odham Nation in a dispute over an off-reservation casino that's due to open later this year.

The tribe started construction on the $500 million West Valley Resort after the Bureau of Indian Affairs placed the site in trust and after opponents lost a series of court challenges. But the Arizona Department of Gaming is threatening to withhold a certification for the facility despite the city's support.

"The City and Nation are partners in the West Valley Resort and a decision that negatively affects the Nation negatively impacts the City of Glendale and its residents," Michael Bailey, the city's attorney, wrote in a letter to the department, The Arizona Republic reported.

Artist's rendering of the West Valley Resort now under construction near Glendale, Arizona. Image from Tohono O'odham Nation

The city was initially opposed to the project but relented after spending more than $1.3 million on unsuccessful litigation. An agreement calls on the tribe to pay the city about $26 million over 20 years for infrastructure, services and other impacts.

The city also opposes the Keep the Promise Act, introduced as S.152 and H.R. 308. The bill prevents the tribe from using its trust land for Class II or Class III gaming.

Get the Story:
Tribe, Glendale leaders address halt to casino approval (The Glendale Daily News-Sun 4/22)
Mayor speaks out on casino issue (The Peoria Times 4/22)
Glendale backs West Valley casino (The Arizona Republic 4/21)

An Opinion:
Tim Steller: O'odham were sly, smart pursuing Glendale casino (The Arizona Daily Star 4/22)

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